General Summary
Research technicians work with research assistants, research associates, and Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation staff to implement laboratory and field protocols and develop environmental management plans and reports to support associated programs. Typical work includes: collection, analysis, and presentation of field data; processing and analysis of environmental samples; and collaboration with other student researchers, staff, and faculty of the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation to complete these tasks.

Major Duties and Responsibilities
Major duties and responsibilities include the following:

  1. Conducts field sampling activities to support regional lake, coastal wetland, and watershed monitoring and assessment.
    1. Conducts field work to characterize the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of streams, lakes, wetlands, and their associated watersheds. Field sampling may include:
      1. Discharge, surveying; precipitation, water, and sediment chemistry; instream and shoreline/nearshore habitat quality; biological assemblages (e.g., fish, invertebrates, plankton, fish, macrophytes, and periphyton) and land use.
  2. Conducts laboratory analysis activities to support regional lake, coastal wetland, and watershed monitoring and assessment.
    1. Conducts sample analysis and equipment calibration/maintenance for Northland College’s Applied Research and Environmental Laboratory (ARELab). ARELab activities will likely include:
      1. Perform sample processing and preparation for analysis;
      2. Perform laboratory support work such as laboratory cleaning, inventory, inspections, and material handling;
      3. Handle, process, mix, and test chemicals;
      4. Clean, assemble, and dismantle test hardware, equipment and apparatus;
      5. Carry out all required record-keeping and documentation;
      6. Observe established safety regulations and comply with all ARELab health and safety policies and procedures;
  3. Assists with public outreach activities.
  4. Conducts field and laboratory data analysis, report writing, and presentation of results. Example activities could include:
    1. Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis, map creation, data management using a range of software tools (e.g. Microsoft Excel, AQUARIUS, SWIMS) report writing using Microsoft Word, and presentation of data to various audiences.
  5. Assists with annual QA/QC audits to ensure quality of field and laboratory data.
  6. Loads and unloads from a trailer and operates various watercraft such as canoes and boats with an outboard motor.
  7. Keeps supervisor promptly informed of pertinent matters.
  8. Performs related work as apparent or assigned.

Other Performance Standards

  • Effectively contributes to Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation team functions, including weekly staff meetings, periodic planning sessions, and staff development activities.
  • Prioritizes work activities to complete assignments by expected deadlines and makes the most effective use of time available.
  • Follows documented specific methods and/or procedures.
  • Interacts with Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation and Northland College staff, other students and faculty in a positive manner, supportive of goals of both entities.
  • Handles sensitive and confidential information in a businesslike manner.
  • Acts with the highest degree of responsibility in handling College funds, e.g., travel reimbursements, merchandise sales.

Responsibilities and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or graduate equivalency degree (GED).
  • Interest in field and/or laboratory research in one or more of the following areas: watershed protection and restoration, environmental assessment and analysis, lake and coastal wetland management.
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation staff, other students, and the general public.
  • Willingness to learn and use ArcGIS, AQUARIUS, SWIMS, and Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint.
  • Ability to swim required if conducting field work.
  • All employees must participate in van/trailer training, boater safety certification, and laboratory safety training.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a variety of weather and field conditions, frequent long work days, and flexibility to adapt to changing conditions and plans.
  • Knowledge of scientific principles and methods.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Must be capable of working with minimal supervision.
  • Must be well organized, and able to work independently as well as part of a team.
  • Ability to work in a fast paced environment.
  • Availability for shift rotation which may include weekends.
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to understand and carry out detailed instructions.

Organization Details

Burke Center 1411 Ellis Ave Ashland, Wisconsin 54806 Website

How to Apply

Complete a Burke Center job application form, cover letter, resume, and writing sample (e.g. from a class project) and send to

NOTE: Save the application form to a computer before completing it or it may not save your information.

Application Deadline: February 8, 2019

Download Application (PDF File)


Matt Hudson